There’s a few things that I touched on in the last blog. You know, to do with medication that I feel like deserve a bit more detail. Just a bit. Or maybe a lot. I never know when I start writing a blog how long it’ll take me to purge my soul until I hit the last period. So anyways! Here goes!
As I have said, in a earlier post, I have had two tough years. Hell on earth kinda years. Years which were, fucking miserable. Markedly tougher than the rest. First 2009 and then 2013.
So in 2009, I had moved away from home, started university, and broke up with a boyfriend. Then I started experiencing panic attacks in the classroom, at home, in my vehicle, well, pretty much everywhere. I ended up being diagnosed with anxiety. You know all this. I was given medication, etc.
I took it for a bit, but because of the stigma I stopped. I was embarrassed and so I stopped. And the anxiety came back with a vengeance.
The anxiety, that I didn’t deal with, caused me to fall into a depression. I remember playing ball the summer I was 19, nearly 6 months after that diagnosis, and feeling like this huge dark cloud was just hanging over me.
Everyone on the field was so happy. Seemed so happy. And I was, well, I was a total devastating mess. I wondered why I couldn’t feel like everyone else. I wondered why I had to have a dark cloud following me around all god damn day long.
Things became too much and so I drove myself to the hospital secretly. I borrowed my parents car, and I drove myself to the clinic. I met with the doctor. I cried in the docs chair while he explained to me that I shouldn’t have stopped the medication. I needed it, is what he told me.
I drove myself to the pharmacy. Collected my prescription and drove home with the deepest sense of guilt I had ever felt. I didn’t want my parents to know. I didn’t want them to think less of me.
I had butterflies in my stomach. The anxious butterflies. They weren’t feel good butterflies. And I asked my mom if we could talk. I told her I needed to tell her something. I needed to share my secret. I felt like I was doing something wrong.
And so I cried. Again. The docs chair, and now on my high school bed. I sat on my bed with my mother and I cried. I confessed to her what I had done. I told her I couldn’t do it alone. I needed medication to get me back on my feet. School was approaching and I couldn’t go back until I started to feel okay again.
And my mothers response, her kindness melted me. She told me it was okay. That if that’s what I needed it was fine. That different people deal with different things and that it didn’t matter to her. She just wanted me to be healthy.
If my mother had responded with disappointment or discouraged me, I don’t know that I would have made it. I would have broken into too many pieces that I would never have been able to put myself back together again.
But I wasn’t done believing the medication was just a temporary fix. So, I reconciled with myself that the precursor to the anxiety was situationally based. It was school. It was my need to attain perfect grades, and my beating myself up when I scored lower than I had anticipated…which happened a tonne.
So in 2012, after I graduated with my first degree, I believed that I had somehow overcame the totality of the anxiety disorder. So what did I do? Well, I quit my medication. Again.
Big mistake. Big, big mistake. I lost a tonne of weight, which was great. Anti-anxiety medication packs the pounds on fast, which super blows. And everyone was telling me, you know, that I looked great. I was back to my high school weight. My prom dress actually was loose on me. But even though I looked great on the outside. I was feeling, with each passing day, more and more like a bag of shit on the inside.
And next thing it’s 2013 and I’ve been off the meds for approximately 8 months. And it was getting so bad..
I started questioning everything. I started trying to worry everything out of existence. I was unable to think clearly and I was unable to function the way I had been. And then one night, during the day of the Boston Bombings, a bomb went off in my own head. I leaped from my chair and ran outside. The same way I had the first time I had during that very first panic attack. And what came next was the scariest thought I have ever had…
“I can’t do this again. I can’t do this again. I am unable to get through this again. I’d rather die.”
I knew that wasn’t me, but those thoughts threw me into a panic that lasted hours. I went to the docs office first thing in the morning. I went back on the medication. But the thing is, it takes anywhere from a month to six before that medication can kick in and so for the next 4 months I fell apart.
I was what if’ing everything? What if the medication didn’t start to work again? What if I had to feel like this for the rest of my life? What if, what if, what if???
I didn’t care how much weight I gained. I didn’t care. I just wanted to start feeling normal again. I wanted to start feeling like me again. And so, with medication, and counselling, and yoga, and mindfulness, and meditation, and fresh air, and rainbows, and my parents, and my family, and my now fiancée I began to get back to me.
I didn’t give up. But I also didn’t try to do it on my own. I needed support in pill form, in familial form, in friendship form, in spiritual form. And I took whatever support I could get. Because I needed it. And because no ones opinion of me is more important than my own happiness. Than my own life.
And then and there, I made a promise to myself. That no matter how bad things ever got I would never give up on myself. And I haven’t. And I never will. And I will use whatever form of support is available to me. I’m tired of trying to do this alone because someone thinks I’m weak. And if you think that, get a life.
I’m strong as hell. I’m a fucking warrior.